Sunday, January 23, 2011

Notes from a Declining Empire: Introduction

Other than the ability to manipulate and control its people and to export destruction to the rest of the world, the US empire seems to be fading in the midst of an emerging mulipolar world. The US is a strong exporter of weapons, agricultural products, and intellectual property -- and little else.

Cutting back on education, health care and other services that government should provide is hardly a way to build a strong economy.

One of the symptoms of decline is the weakening of the attraction of US culture. In Asia, Korean culture seems to be in ascendance. The Wall Street Journal recently reported as a fluff piece about this phenomenon.

What is it that the US will be able to offer the rest of the world other than its culture of looting, shooting, and polluting.

Hookway, James and Wilawan Watcharasakwet. 2010. "Hungry for Drama, Chinese Viewers Send Out for Thai: The Sexy Soap Opera Actresses and Actors Are So Asian -- And So Over the Top." Wall Street Journal (3 December).

"What's going on, TV analysts in the region suspect, is that Asia is starting to outgrow its addiction to Hollywood hand-me-downs. For years, Asian broadcasters have been relying on such U.S. imports as the "CSI" dramas and that old standby "Baywatch" to fill out their programming schedules. Now, egged on by the popularity of South Korean singers and actors in recent years, Asian broadcasters are more comfortable using their neighbors' TV dramas or music instead of American fare. Some analysts figure the success of the Asian programs is the latest sign of Asia's rising confidence."


Obvious Sock-Puppet said...

Look on the bright side: we're well set-up to become ruthless, explicit, predators...and because we're Merkins, we'll still be the Good Guys.

Suffern AC said...

Hmmm. The Wall Street Journal catches a trend about a decade after it began and is probably reaching its peak. Perhaps that is a reason why the empire is failing. Also, Korean, Taiwnese and even Thai soaps are less expensive to produce AND can pass those savings onto their buyers. Most expensive Korean movie ever produced cost $20 million...unheard of, but it had a cast of hundreds, horses, camels, a Japanese army corps, an elephant, three big stars, sets constructed in Manchuria, and lots of explosions. I'm thinking that a typical 120 episode Korean nightly soap that usually has a dozen actors and 4-5 sets probably doesn't cost nearly as much as an American show.

Or maybe Asians just like to watch shows about good looking young people from different social backgrounds falling in love and trying to get permission from their parents to get married.